It's getting to the point where its hard to write these articles and spin a new narrative from it. Point is, round the FA WSL world, Arsenal Ladies seems to be a sinking ship and not many are willing to do gown with the ship. Sorry, Dido.
During this offseason, the number of players entering vs the number players leaving doesn't give us a pretty ratio. Two new signings, not counting youth internationals Bailey and Ayisi who just signed senior contracts, with four players leaving. Well, with the departure of Katie Chapman and Gilly Flaherty, we can now update that total to six players that have left the Arsenal just this offseason alone. Historically, in both the men's and women's game, I'm unsure if anything like this has really every happened before. Six players!? Only two replacement's so far!?
Obviously, the key words there are "so far." At this rate, I'm not even sure the Gunners have enough to build a gameday 18, let alone field a competitive starting 11. That being said, it's clear that there are more signings to come. There is still quite a bit of time until the season starts, and when you lose as many players as Arsenal has you HAVE to bring in some more players. Even from just a numbers standpoint, it is hard to play when you don't have players.
Now let's face the elephant in this article, the loss of Chapman and Flaherty. Losing Flaherty is unfortunate. The 22 year old centerback has been playing some solid soccer recently, and really coming into her own. Recently called up by new England WNT coach Mark Sampson, its evident that the future is quite bright for Flaherty. On the semi-bright side, Arsenal's recent signing of Casey Stoney should help fill the gap Flaherty has left. While Stoney is older than Flaherty, and doesn't have as many games left in her career as Flaherty, she is still a capable strong defender that can help stop the bleeding.
Chapman leaves an already depleted midfield, and I'd think that a strong possession midfielder has to be on the top of Arsenal's list. It's unfortunate that Notts County jumped on the Desiree "Destroyer" Scott train before anyone else (although its important to remember that deal is still kind of up in the air). Once that area of need is taken care, perhaps a good striker could be picked up. Then just fill in with replacement pieces, or continue to sign from the academy. It wouldn't be the worst outcome ever, and considering the position the club is in right now i think its probably the best that can be done.
So au revoir, Gilly and Katie, I hope you enjoy your time with Chelsea and return back home to the Arsenal in due time. Hopefully, the next article I type up for you lovely readers is about a big signing FOR Arsenal. Let us pray.